Author: Stephen Weir | Date: 29 November 2018
Scarborough’s Black Knight is currently stabled in the lobby of Toronto’s City Hall. The real-life sized statue of a young black girl riding a jet-black unicorn is the first thing visitors now see when they enter the Queen St. Building.
It was commissioned for Scarborough’s first all-night Nuit Blanc festival held in September of this year. The statue is built from 80,000 individual black Lego bricks. Named Cavalier Noir (the Black Knight), it is meant to answer the question, “If Scarborough was to commemorate its own heroes, what would the monument look like?”
Created by two Scarborough stars - artist Ekow Nimako and video maker Director X – they say the Lego statue “stands as an emblem of hope for the disenfranchised by drawing on hip-hop’s creative strategies: taking existing, discarded, often overlooked elements and flipping them to inspire and amplify voices of the oppressed.”
Originally put on display in the Scarborough Civic Centre with TD Bank funding, the work of art is now in downtown Toronto. A description panel says that it shows “a black child warrior astride a dauntless black unicorn”.
Ekow Nimako is the artist who took 80,000 pieces of Lego blocks and transformed them into this moving statue. The 39-year old is originally from Montreal (his parents are from Ghana). He studied art at York University and settled in Scarborough four years ago.
Director X (Trinidadian Canadian artist Julien Christian Lutz) Nimako’s partner on the project is best known for his music videos of Kanye West, Jay-Z, Sean Paul, Justin Bieber, Drake, Nicki Minaj, and many other superstars. Born and raised in Brampton, he now lives in Los Angeles, California.